Tips for Finding Antique Glass Bottles with a Metal Detector

Tips for Finding Antique Glass Bottles with a Metal Detector

By Michael Bernzweig

About the author: Michael Bernzweig manages metal detectors in Southborough, MA. He has written extensively on the subject of metal detecting since the mid 1980s. He has traveled world-wide in his pursuit of educating, exploring and advising others in the proper use of metal detectors. Outside of the business he enjoys mentoring students, being involved in the community and spending time with his family.

Many of us who enjoy antiquing search for specific types of antiques and build collections. Some choose a brand or style of figurine, artwork, or kitchenware. Others collect antique coins, jewelry, or furniture. A variety of antique collectors also focus on glass bottles.


Antique bottle collecting appeals to collectors for a wide array of reasons including their affordability and their size. While you can stick to antique shops and flea markets to find antique bottles, many collectors also find it’s even more thrilling to be the first person to find the item. This is where having a metal detector can come in very handy.

Now, it might seem odd to suggest you go metal detecting to find antique glass bottles, but, to prove it’s actually quite a wise idea is Michael Bernzweig of Michael has been metal detecting for many years and has quite a bit of helpful information to share, including some excellent tips for finding antique glass bottles with a metal detector.

Antique glass bottles are actually not as rare a find for a metal detector as you might think. Of course the detectors can’t locate the glass, but, some bottles are lost (or dumped) with their metal lids still on. In other situations the metal detectors locate other items in the same location as some antique glass bottles and they’re simply part of the treasure cache. A great example of this is when you find an old home site, or even a former dump. What used to be someone’s trash long ago is now treasure today; and that includes old glass bottles.


To help you locate these types of sites where you might find glass bottles, you’ll want to look for a metal detector that offers a medium to large search coil for deeper seeking capabilities, manual ground balance control to combat heavy ground mineralization, and a lower frequency. The machine should also be adept at finding iron, brass, and steel as these are some of the most common trash metals found around glass bottles.

In addition to a good metal detector, you’ll also want to pick up a few metal detecting tools. A pinpointer and some digging tools will not only help you stay safer and decrease your search and recovery time, but, they’ll also keep your treasures safe. You’re digging for glass bottles after all, you can’t just go hacking away with your giant garden shovel! The pinpointer will help you locate what your machine has detected with even more precision. Then, quality metal detecting tools like professional trowels, edge diggers, and T handle shovels will help you unearth your find safely and without damage to your treasure, or the property itself.

Antique glass bottles are all around and finding them just requires a good metal detector and some time. Then, you can not only have the fun of amassing an eclectic antique glass bottle collection, but the thrill of actually being the first one to find these treasures as well. Just remember, always stay safe, get permission before metal detecting anywhere, and respect the land by packing out any trash you make, or find and you’ll be sure to have a memorable and exciting time metal detecting for antique glass bottles.

Happy hunting!